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Academy of Progressive Politics - Data Analysis and Political Communications

The growing presence of populist and extremist messages in social media have been fueled in different countries across Asia, hijacking public discourse on crucial issues with divisive messages. The rise of extremist, authoritarian or far-right political figures bred a polarizing environment in social media.

Disinformation networks have also sprouted in social media with the deliberate purpose of silencing critics or amping the popularity of political figures through propaganda. According to a study from Freedom House, some governments in Southeast Asia have become top sources of disinformation while freedom of the press remains low in the region. Disinformation has thrived in countries where the press is muzzled by laws restricting their work. Turning the tide against populism and breaking through barriers for progressive politics requires leaders who can win hearts and minds.

The Network for Social Democracy in Asia- Academy of Progressive Politics (Socdem APP)

Asia’s huge democratic potential has largely been unrealized. Despite most Asian countries now moving towards the direction of electoral democracy, an entrenched social and political culture has marginalized the majority of the peoples in Asia from governance and the economy. Progressive movements, political parties and activists have made huge inroads for democratic reforms. The recent victory of the multi-racial democratic opposition in Malaysia has opened the democratic space in that country. Likewise, the election of a reformist president in South Korea has made peace in the peninsula a possibility. However, major challenges remain and new threats are on the horizon.

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